TV’s Emma stars in Cumbria park’s pub opening

Emma Atkins in the bar with owner of The Royal, Michael Holgate
Emma Atkins calls “first orders!” as she pulls a pint in the bar with owner of The Royal, Michael Holgate

When guests at Silverdale Holiday Park in Cumbria ask where to scratch their heads – for the park has bought them one of their own.

At a cost of £300,000, the family business has rescued The Royal in the nearby village of Silverdale, and brought the pub back tood empty for six years.

The move has won acclaim not just from park customers, but also from the local community whose members include TV Emmerdale star Emma Atkins

And it was Emma, who plays Charity Dingle in the popular soap, who pulled the first official pint at The Royal’s celebration opening this spring.

Owner Michael Holgate said that although Silverdale Holiday Park provides its own acclaimed restaurant, cafe and bar, guests occasionally fancy a change of scenery.

Until recently, local options were rather limited – but now, he says, they can enjoy the park’s high standards of food and hospitality just a few minutes’ walk away.

Opening time: Emma Atkins cuts the ribbon with owner of The Royal, Michael Holgate
Opening time: Emma Atkins cuts the ribbon with Michael Holgate

A large chunk of the third-million pound makeover, said Michael, had gone into create a warm, welcoming and stylish ambiance.

The Royal’s re-fitted kitchens also now boast state-of-the-art catering technology, and will provide meals both in the bar and the pub’s second-floor dining room.

There will, says Michael, be a strong emphasis on Cumbrian sourced ingredients, complementing the regularly changing selection of different craft ales brewed in Lakeland.

Silverdale Holiday Park has been owned by the Holgate family for 60 years, and provides over 500 caravan holiday homes, plus touring pitches, and luxury timber-built camping pods.

As well as Silverdale – which won Cumbria Tourism’s overall holiday park of the year award two years ago – the group also owns five other parks in the region.

“Although we bought The Royal with our own customers in mind, we’re delighted that it will also provide something of a social hub for the local community,” said Michael.

“We are well aware, of course, that in recent years many local pubs have been calling time and closing down – so in some ways we are bucking a national trend.

“However, all the evidence shows that pubs which offer a distinct identity and first-class hospitality, as well as high quality food and drink, will survive and prosper,” he added.

Emma Atkins, whose parents still live in Silverdale, said she was delighted to see The Royal re-open in the village where she grew up, and which holds many happy childhood memories.

Thumbs up from
Thumbs up from Emmerdale’s Emma joined by members of the pub team at the opening of The Royal